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How to Prevent a Loved One with Dementia from Wandering

Written by: Dunham

Wandering is a common behaviour associated with dementia, especially in the middle to late stages of the disease. It is not only a potential safety risk for the person with dementia, it is also very stressful if you are the caregiver. There are a number of strategies that can help reduce the risk of wandering even if you can’t prevent it. However, there is no “one size fits all” solution. Consider your loved one’s unique situation and try to make his or her independence and freedom a priority for as long as possible.

Strategies to reduce the risk of wandering

Tips from Canadian Alzheimer associations[1] and medical professionals[2] suggest the following:

Look for a pattern or underlying cause

Secure your home

Review medications with your loved one’s doctor

Increase physical activity

Set a sleep routine

Alert your neighbours

Clothing and personal ID

Make a plan in case your loved one goes missing

Having a plan will prepare you in case of an emergency. Here are some things you can do now:[3]

What to do if your loved one is missing

Despite your best efforts, there is a high likelihood that your loved one could wander away. Three out of five people with dementia will wander. Here’s what to do:

The sooner you ask for help, the sooner your loved one is likely to be found.

If you need extra help to care for a loved one with dementia, we are here for you. Our caregivers are trained and certified in dementia care.


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